Alleyway Theatre

Broadway is Broadway, sure, but if "the play's the thing," well you can have a pretty good time here in Buffalo. Anthony and Peter both thoroughly enjoyed IN THE HEIGHTS at Musicalfare and NEWSIES at Shea's. But those are only two.

Broadway and television star Cheyenne Jackson will appear Saturday evening with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra for its Pops Series at Kleinhans Music Hall.  Jackson will performing 'Music of the Mad Men Era'.  WBFO's Eileen Buckley had a chance to speak with Jackson ahead of his  Buffalo visit where reveals his love for music of the late 50's and 60's. 

Buffalo Humanities Festival

Don't Americans love a story of the little guy talking truth to power? How about lots of little guys - knee high kids hawking newspapers on the street - striking in 1899 to bring two publishing giants - Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst - to their knees.  The Disney Broadway musical opens Tuesday at Shea's.

All across Western New York our theaters begin their 2015-2016 season with a flourish at the annual Curtain Up!

WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

Buffalo's Curtain Up! remains one of the premier theater events in the country.  WBFO's Eileen Buckley says Friday night will mark the 34th annual celebration of Buffalo's professional theater season.

WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

Well-known playwright and Buffalo native Tom Dudzick is bringing his sequel to Over the Tavern to The Kavinoky Theatre  King O' The Moon: Over the Tavern Part 2 opens tonight.  WBFO's Eileen Buckley talked with Dudzick and local actress Loraine O'Donnell about why audiences are attracted to the story based on a Buffalo family living 'Over the Tavern'.

This week Peter and Anthony look at some of the first offerings of the 2015/2016 season, including IN THE HEIGHTS at MusicalFare Theatre,  GRANNY BIRD at the Alleyway Theatre, and SLAUGHTERHOUSE FIVE (OR THE CHILDREN'S CRUSADE) at the Manny Fried Playhouse.

photo from Jay Moran

When Road Less Traveled Productions closed its season in May, the theater company also said good-bye to its longtime home located inside the Market Arcade Cinema. After a quick turnaround, they're ready to open another season at a near-century-old structure in Buffalo's Theater District.

Photo by Emily Cooper

The Shaw Festival presents a thinking person's play with possibly too much to think about at once, and many in Buffalo are thinking about Curtain Up, the annual celebration of the start of the theater season.

Tim Carroll's candidacy for the Shaw Festival's Artistic Directorship was kept under wraps, but his tenure which begins in about 16 months (he'll be shadowing Jackie Maxwell for the 2016 season) holds great promise to return the Shaw to its former glory.  Meanwhile, at the other great Canadian festival, Stratford, the Greek tragedy by Sophocles, OEDIPUS REX,  builds relentlessly to its conclusion, leaving sold-out audiences breathless.

WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra's home on Symphony Circle is getting a comprehensive makeover. Managers at Kleinhans Music Hall will soon unveil major renovations, all part of a 75th anniversary celebration.

from Shaw Festival website

There are several closings in Buffalo as the summer wanes, but The Shaw Festival in Niagara on the Lake continues well into the fall.

Mike Desmond/wbfo news

There is a new attraction on the Elmwood Strip. Judith Shea's massive bronze sculpture "Eden" was unveiled on Wednesday.

Film that stars Buffalo itself wraps up local shooting

Aug 18, 2015
photo courtesy Jana Eisenberg

A film about a New York City man who moves to Buffalo to raise children for whom he has suddenly become responsible completed its local shooting Monday in the city. It's the latest production to work in the Queen City during what has become a busy year for the local film industry.

photo from Shaw Festival Facebook page

The Shaw Festival has named British director Tim Carroll as its next artistic director. Carroll discussed his plans for the Niagara-on-the-Lake institution in a conversation with WBFO's Mike Desmond. (Jamestown, NY)

With Curtain Up! only five weeks away we still have several openings, some closings, and one play held over by popular demand.

After being left to crumble for several years, the grain elevators now known as Silo City are fast becoming the center of a wide variety of events.

When you look at what you think is a corner Buffalo News vending machine, look twice over the next few weeks. Some of those boxes have been converted to community seed stations for the latest public art project from the Albright-Knox Art Gallery.

This week Peter and Anthony talk about the great number of theater locales with August events, from Jamestown and Chautauqua in the south, to Artpark, Musicalfare, and The Shaw Festival in the north, to the BUA, Subversive Theatre, and Shakespeare in Delaware Park right here in Buffalo.

Chris Caya WBFO News

The City of Buffalo will be front and center in a new film being shot here.

In a repertory company like the Stratford Festival, a performer can be in two disparate shows. This year, Stratford veteran Lucy Peacock appears in two very different shows, The Diary of Anne Frank and She Stoops To Conquer. Peacock recently spoke with WBFO's Mike Desmond about the roles.

WBFO News photo

New York State has added to its tourism strategy. On Saturday, Governor Cuomo announced the groundbreaking of the new National Comedy Center in Jamestown, New York.

Photo from A Praire Home Compainion website.

A Prairie Home Companion is on stage at the Chautauqua Institution tonight. Garrison Keillor is on the road with his American the Beautiful Tour.  WBFO's Eileen Buckley had a chance to speak with Keillor after he announced last week that he will be retiring.

WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

Crossdressing newbies Jordan Louis Fisher as Viola and Tim Newell as Olivia in Shakespeare's TWELFTH NIGHT and BUA experienced drag actors Christopher Standart and Jimmy Janowski (who, by the way, has great legs) as Bette Davis and Joan Crawford in BETTE AND JOAN: THE FINAL CURTAIN spice up new productions and keep summer audiences engaged.

WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

Buffalo United Artists always pushes the edges with new and provocative performances. Friday evening, the theater company premiers 'Bette & Joan: The Final Curtain.' WBFO's Eileen Buckley says it's a story about Bette Davis and Joan Crawford, the legendary Hollywood screen stars of the 1940s and 50s, but in BUA style with male actors performing the roles.

In a popular Cole Porter musical we are advised to “Brush Up Your Shakespeare” while the cast sings about “Another Opening, Another Show.” Here in our area, starting last night and going through this weekend we have six (6!) openings (including Shakespeare) from which to choose. And that’s in July! Buffalo is definitely not in Kansas anymore.

Peter and Anthony went to see SISTERS OF SWING: THE ANDREWS SISTERS MUSICAL starring Wendy Hall, Michele Marie Roberts, and Renee Landrigan as Laverne, “Maxene,” and “Patty” Andrews (contralto, soprano, and mezzo). Peter was impressed with Landrigan’s ability to stay right on the knife edge balancing schmaltz with cool, channeling her inner Bing Crosby. Neat trick. Philip Farugia plays their manager, Vic Schoen, and serves as the music director of a very tight backup combo while Nicholas Lama is cast as “Everyone Else” (Danny Kaye, Carmen Miranda, cab driver, etc.). You may have seen it several years ago, but this is a new cast and in a little over two hours you get 24 high energy songs and solid performances from all, through August 9 at Musicalfare Theatre, 4380 Main Street in Amherst.

SISTERS OF SWING: THE ANDREWS SISTERS MUSICAL opened this week and runs through August 9th at Musicalfare Theatre, 4380 Main St., located on the Daemen College campus in Amherst.  And Musicalfare's Randall Kramer takes his talents on the road to Lewiston, presenting PETER PAN, the Broadway musical based on the play by J.M. Barrie, opening at Artpark on July 30th.

Amanda Browder

Brooklyn artist Amanda Browder is working to transform an art gallery in Buffalo's University Heights neighborhood into a work of art and she's inviting the community to help.

Plays can be funny, entertaining or thought provoking. Sometimes, all of the above. At the Stratford Festival this season, Miles Potter is directing Friederich Durrenmatt's "The Physicists," a look at atomic scientists and ethics. WBFO's Mike Desmond spoke with Potter.